I still didn’t like the fact that I had to take off the wristband. I mean, why do I even want to go to the Void? No, I can just stay awake and keep watch! Yes, that’s exactly what I’ll do, I don’t have to worry about this. But then I looked at Emerald, who still looked nervous about seeing her parents. I sighed, defeated, and she looked at me in confusion. I grabbed the wristband and, staring at Emerald, I slid it off my wrist.
“There.” I said, putting it on the floor. “Now what?” When I looked back at Gourwin, Galaxy and Everest, I was surprised to see their wristbands on still.
“I’m glad you trust Miss Emerald so much, Master Pyro.” Gourwin stated, amused. “But I wasn’t expecting you to take it off so quickly.”
“Whatever!” I growled, embarrassed. “Well? What next?” I repeated, glancing at Emerald. She looked happy that I trusted her, and that made me happy. She was looking at Gourwin, but when I smiled at her she seemed to jump slightly and look at me in surprise. “What?” I asked quietly while Everest and Galaxy took off their wristbands.
“Sorry, I’m just not quite used to being able to sense your emotions.” She explained sheepishly, and my eyes widened. “I-I don’t do it on purpose, I swear!” She said quickly, a bright flash of green overcoming the shifting colors on her underbelly briefly before going back to normal. “I just sense them if they’re close to or directed at me!” She looked embarrassed and nervous all over again, and I smiled.
“Emerald, you’re fine. I was just surprised, I didn’t know you could sense emotions.” I told her, putting one of my talons on her shoulder.
“I-it’s kind of like reading minds, but in order to give dragons without Secro Stones more ‘ease of mind’ I controlled it to the point where I only sense emotions unless I specifically reach into a dragon’s mind.” She explained, still looking a little nervous.
“You said you could read emotions directed towards you. Can you do the same with thoughts?” I asked, then proceeded to think, ‘Can you hear me, Emerald?’
“Well, I don’t actually-” She broke off as I thought the question, and I knew she had heard me. “Y-yeah, I can hear your thoughts without reaching into your mind. When they’re directed to me, of course.” She replied, eyes wide with wonder. I chuckled, then thought to her: ‘You’re kinda cute when you look like that.’ Her eyes widened even more, and her whole underbelly and underwings turned the soft rosy color again. I laughed again, then dropped the talon that was on her shoulder to my side.
“Ok, we’re all set for entering the Void!” Gourwin’s voice startled us both, and I got a little nervous. ‘Are you able to see my thoughts when you connect our minds?’ I asked Emerald, and she shook her head. ‘Memories?’ She shook her head again, and I immediately felt safer.
“Ok, then what’s the plan?” I asked, glancing at Emerald again. She still had the rosy color on her, and I had to hold in another laugh. I poked her with my tail and gestured to her underbelly, and she thanked me quietly as she changed the colors.
“Miss Emerald, I need you to reach out with your mind into all of ours, and imagine connecting our brainwaves. No secrets, no walls, no separations, just us.” Gourwin instructed, lying down as he motioned for the rest of us to do the same. Once we were all settled on the floor, Emerald closed her eyes. A second later I felt something poking in my brain, and I shivered. I imagined opening a door in my mind and felt her presence. I saw the others look slightly uncomfortable as they let her into their minds as well, and Emerald opened her eyes again. “Great. Now, I need you to imagine pulling us all, including you, into the vast void of sleep.” Gourwin told her, and she nodded, closing her eyes again. I felt darkness tugging at the corners of my vision, and I lowered my head onto the ground and closed my eyes, allowing Emerald to pull me into sleep.
“Woah!” Galaxy’s exclamation made my eyes snap open and I leapt to my feet in shock. I gasped as I saw that we were under a huge archway covered in vines and flowers at the edge of a large rock cliff face over looking a city that stretched as far as the eye could see. There were dragons of all the 5 kingdoms flying, walking, sleeping, and swimming everywhere, as well as other creatures such as humans, griffins, unicorns, and others. As I gaped at the beautiful sight, I could see and hear the other’s reactions to the Void. I turned and saw that we were almost in a V formation, with Emerald in the middle front, me and Gourwin at her shoulders, and Galaxy and Everest at mine and Gourwin’s shoulders.
“So, what do we do know?” I asked Emerald, putting a talon on her shoulder. She looked at me for a moment, then back out into the city.
“I don’t know…am I able to reach out to them, Gourwin?” She asked, turning to her left to look at the Catslick.
“Yes, but they should be here any second now. They know when visitors come to the Void, so-” He broke off as huge wingbeats sent air whipping around us. We all looked up in surprise as two ginormous dragons flew closer to us, landing on the cliff just left of us. “Forest! Ocean!” Gourwin cried out, flying to them as they reached out wrapped him in a hug.
“. . .Mom? Dad…?” Emerald whispered, and I gave her shoulder a comforting squeeze. Her underbelly was flashing so many colors it was hard to tell what she was feeling.
“Emerald.” She looked at me, and I could tell she was close to tears. “It’s gonna be ok, alright? They love you, always will, I promise.” I told her, pulling her into a hug. She hugged me back, and then we pulled away so that she could face her parents again.
“M-. . .mom? Dad?” Emerald called, looking up at the giants. They looked down at her and tears formed in their eyes. They shrank down to the size of an average adult Flame dragon and opened their arms and wings in a welcoming hug. Emerald, still uncertain, glanced at me, and though I was surprised she looked to me, I gave her a reassuring nod. She looked back to Ocean and Forest for a moment more before throwing herself into their arms.
“Oh, Emerald, we’re so glad that you’re safe!” Forest, Emerald’s mother, cried, rubbing Emerald’s back as tears streamed down her face.
“You’re so big, we weren’t able to connect to you once you hid yourself from dragons with your abilities…!” Ocean, the father, explained, wrapping his wings around the both of them, before looking directly at me. I jumped slightly at his intense stare. “Though it seems other dragons found you before Gourwin could.” I instinctively tensed up at his tone, bristling.
“Pyro…” Everest’s warning tone did nothing to stop my underbelly from heating up.
“Pyro, what’s happening?” I flinched slightly when Emerald asked that. She looked kind of freaked out, and I immediately cooled off.
“Nothing, Emerald, it’s fine. That just happens sometimes.” I told her, feeling guilty. Though I couldn’t hide the edge in my voice as I looked back at Ocean, as he looked even more defensive now. Emerald followed my gaze and saw her father almost glaring at me. She looked back at me and I could feel her voice in my head.
‘Do you think we should leave?’ She asked, and I was taken aback. Her parents looked at her in surprise, and Forest immediately glared at Ocean.
“What?!” He exclaimed when he noticed her look.
“She wants to leave now because you were being mean to her friend.” She told him, still hugging Emerald tightly. Emerald herself looked shocked and embarrassed, but she still looked at me, waiting my answer.
‘But…these are your parents, don’t you want to stay with them?’ I asked, and she glanced back at them. Still arguing over…me?
“I think the Flame dragon seems nice!” Forest stated, earning a grunt from Ocean.
“I want to know why she trusts him more than us, or even Gourwin!” He countered, looking back at me.
‘Yes, but I don’t want you to feel like you’re not welcomed.’ Emerald replied, ignoring her parents.
‘Um, maybe if we talked to them about what’s happened over the years, and how we met they wouldn’t think I’m bad?’ I offered, feeling very uncomfortable with Ocean staring at me and most likely able to read my thoughts. ‘Also, why are we talking like this when I’m sure your parents can hear every thought?’ I asked, and she shrugged.
“Yes, we can hear everything you two are saying, and I think that it would be a great idea if we all introduced ourselves and got to know each other!” Forest’s voice made me jump, and I gave her a nervous smile.
“Great. I, uh, I’m sorry about getting upset earlier, I just get defensive sometimes, and I’m not so good at trusting new dragons.” I said as politely as possible, and Forest and Ocean finally let Emerald go. She smiled at both of them before walking back over to me, which made me very confused and very surprised. She looked at me with surprise, before whispering:
“Why are you so surprised?”
“Uh, well I thought you’d want to stay with your parents, I guess.” I whispered back, and she just smiled.
“Mom, dad, this is Pyro!” Emerald said, turning back to them. “Pyro, this is my mom, Forest, and my dad, Ocean!” She turned back to me, smiling brightly.
“H-hi, Ocean, Forest. It’s a pleasure to officially meet you.” I told them, giving them the most genuine smile I could muster at the moment.
“Oh, please! The pleasure is all ours!” Forest exclaimed, coming closer and giving me a hug. I tensed at first, but then hugged back, missing the feeling of a mother’s embrace. She must have sensed that longing, because she gave me a gentle squeeze before letting go and stepping back.
“Yes, nice to meet you.” Ocean said curtly, sticking out a talon for me to shake. I took his talon with my own, and his grip hardened. He gave me one last intense look before letting go, and I gave the tiniest nod – step lightly, earn trust. He seemed satisfied as he stepped back and smiled. A nice, happy smile, and I returned it.
“This is Everest and Galaxy!” Emerald introduced the other two seemingly forgotten dragons, and the attention was finally drawn away from me. I let out a small sigh of relief – I had never been one for socializing. I’ve always been short-tempered and that didn’t exactly mix with others. As the others greeted each other, I heard more wingbeats. I looked up in surprise and alarm, jumping into a defensive position.
“Emerald! Someone’s coming!” I called, and she ran to my side.
“What? Who?” She asked, looking around.
“I don’t know, but whoever it is, they’re big.” I replied, searching the skies for the dragon.
“Oh, don’t worry!” Forest’s voice cut in to our conversation, and she came to stand on the other side of Emerald. “That’s just a relative of yours, Pyro! I called him over to help train you and the others!” She explained, smiling at a dark silhouette that had just appeared in the distance.
“A relative…?” I repeated. “Do I know him?” I asked, still staring at the dragon getting closer with every second.
“Oh yes! You know him very well, he speaks very highly of you. Though, he calls you by a different name-” She was cut off by a loud voice booming from above.
“BLACK FLAME!!!” I flinched at my old name, knowing only one dragon who didn’t know I had changed it.
“Grandpa Sear!” I called back, jumping into the air to meet him. He tackled me to the ground, making us roll over on the rockface as we both laughed.
“That’s ‘Pop’ to you, Poison Dart!” He chuckled as we stopped rolling, him having pinned me.
“Yes sir!” I beamed at him, remembering that incredible nickname he used to call me. “I thought I’d never see you again, this is amazing!”
“I’ve missed you so much, Black Flame.” He told me, letting me up and pulling me into a hug. Sear had to have been at least half a dragon bigger than most adult Flame dragons, and he had unusual colors – he was a matte black dragon with eerie blue flames leading from behind his horns to the tip of his tail. His underbelly and underwings were the same blue as the flames, his eyes as well. He had large spikes lining his back, the bottoms of the spikes slowly fading into deep blue at the top. Unlike my horns, his were ivory white and curved into an almost wave-like shape. There was no one in the 5 kingdoms who looked like my old Pop, and I was eternally grateful to see him again.
“P-Pyro!” Emerald’s concerned voice made me twitch and look for her. She was still at the edge of the cliff, which was now about three tail lengths away from me and Pop. ‘Whoops. Might have been a little too rough with that landing. We went farther than I thought we would.’ I thought, and Emerald looked even more confused. She ran over to me and started searching me for any injuries, asking me things like “Does it hurt anywhere?” “Did you hit your head?” “You didn’t get scratched, did you?” “Are you o-”
“Emerald!” I cut her off, grabbing her wrists as she tried to move my wings. She froze and looked up into my eyes. “I’m fine, really! I…honestly, didn’t feel a thing…that’s weird.” I realized, looking at Pop and seeing that he looked much younger than when I had last seen him, and without any of his old scars. I still had all of my scars, but no new bruises or cuts or scrapes had emerged from the tussle.
“You can’t get injured as a visitor in the Void, and you heal very fast if you do.” Pop explained, and I smiled at him. “Also, you might want to let go of your girl, there, Black Flame.” He added, amused. In shock and embarrassment I dropped Emerald’s wrists and Pop just laughed.
“W-what?! N-no- she’s not- I-I mean, w-we’re just friends!” I stuttered, feeling my face heat up. I knew no one would see the blush – my scales were too dark of a red – but it was still embarrassing.
“U-um, yeah, we’re j-just friends!” Emerald agreed, and I could see her underbelly turn the soft rosy color again out of the corner of my eye. “A-and, did you call Pyro ‘Black Flame’?” She asked, and it was obvious she was changing the subject.
“That’s right, Black Flame is this one’s name!” Pop said, pointing to me. Everyone looked at me in surprise, and I felt myself shrink slightly under their gazes.
“Um, yeah…my mom…she, uh…changed my name, Pop…” I said hesitantly, knowing he’d be mad.
“WHAT?!” He roared, and everyone flinched. I chuckled nervously.
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Sofiya AimanAug 8, 2021
Wow! I love this story! Please make more!
DumaMoyoSep 9, 2021
Thanks! I’m working on the chapters, I’ll upload as soon as possible!